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Demonstrators protest sexual violence and demand change in sex crime law

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Hundreds of people joined a protest against sexual violence that took place at the Museumplein on Saturday afternoon. The “No blame, but change” demonstration was prompted by the reports of abuses surrounding the TV program The Voice of Holland.

The initiator of the Wij Zijn M Foundation Many Sleijpen called on victims of sexual violence and others who oppose it to come to the protest. “Many people now dare to share their story,” Sleijpen said.

Sleijpen said that between 750 to 1,000 people were present at the protest. The protesters carried banners and signs stating: “Don’t look away, do something” and “Stop victim-blaming.” A 71-year-old man said he came to protest because he was “saddened by what he saw on the BOOS broadcast”. Several people reported sexually transgressive behavior at The Voice of Holland on the program.

“I received many messages from victims who did not dare come because of the presence of the press,” Director of the Wij zijn M foundation Many Sleijpen said. Sleipen said she was moved by all the people who came “for the victims.”

Protesters demanded an immediate change in legislation on sexual violence to criminalize all non-consensual sex as rape. Currently, it will take until 2024 for the new legislation on sexual violence to come into effect.

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The demonstration was moved from Dam Square to the Museumplein due to the many people expected. The moderation of the protest is in the hands of comedian Karin Bloeman. Also speaking at the demonstration will be actress Fatma Genç, criminal lawyer Richard Korver, PvdA MP Attje Kuiken, FNV vice-chair Kitty Jong, Amnesty International director Dagmar Oudshoorn and chair of the Foundation Together We Rise Sara Aloui Dekker.

Reporting by ANP and NL Times.

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    Ankita Deshkar

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